This will be the last Brothers Conflict novel summary for now, since vol. 7 will be released in summer. Iori completely snaps in this volume, and Kaname’s reaction is so heartbreaking. ;__;
Knowing she can’t leave things hanging forever, Ema decides to accept everyone’s feelings and give them an answer. Following this decision, someone answers that he will wait for her, someone else is mocking her, and a certain someone is trying to destroy that decision with his blind love. In this volume, Tsubaki still finds it hard to visit Azusa, everyone goes on an autumn trip to Nagano, and an unexpected incident envelops this year’s Christmas Eve with darkness.
Chapter 18-1: 一つになれば
[ If we become one ]
Ever since Azusa got hospitalized, Tsubaki has been really busy with work. A few days after Ema’s visit, Azusa asks Masaomi to buy some mangas and games for him — so he can catch up with work even during his absence. Unfortunately, Masaomi doesn’t know much about the stuff Azusa listed.. and Tsubaki — the one who knows the most about these stuff — doesn’t seem to have any time at the moment. Masaomi then asks for Ema’s help, and since she only knows half of the stuff on the list, she decides to ask Yusuke for more details. Yusuke totally throws away his studies and goes to buy everything on the list for Ema, which sadly causes him to fail a test the next day. He actually wants to visit Azusa in the hospital with her, but he has to attend an extra class because of this. Azusa is surprised when Ema comes to visit him with all the mangas and games he requested, and upon hearing what happened with Yusuke, he says Yusuke is really a fool. ﾌﾟｯ(※థэథ)∵.*.∵ Yusuke should have studied for the test, buy all the stuff with Ema and visit Azusa together.. but oh well. Too late. xD
As they take all the stuff out of the shopping bag, Azusa accidentally touches Ema’s hand and blushes instantly. This reminds Ema of Azusa’s confession not too long ago, but knowing that she needs to answer everyone’s feelings, she quickly snaps out of it and tells him that it’s just a coincidence. Azusa is clearly bothered by this, but then he smiles and thanks Ema for giving him a reminder that he should focus on recovering for now. Ema then helps Azusa putting all the stuff on the side table, and as she puts his clothes onto the shelf, she mentions that he’s really good at keeping everything tidy. Ema also says it feels good to see how he keeps things in order, and Azusa answers that it’s the first time someone has ever said that to him. Tsubaki usually gets angry if Azusa cleans up his room and moves his stuff around. Ema notices that Azusa looks sad when he brings up Tsubaki’s name, and she realizes what it means. Tsubaki still hasn’t come to visit him yet.
On the day when Ema first visited Azusa, Tsubaki came home looking really tired late at night. After making dinner for him, Ema informed Tsubaki that she already talked to Azusa.. and that Azusa said he can come to visit anytime. Even though Tsubaki promised that he will come to visit Azusa, Ema heard him whispering “Why does it have to happen now? How could I face Azusa?” — obviously because he’s still confused about the offer. Feeling bad for Azusa, Ema then says that Tsubaki hasn’t come yet because he’s busy. Much to her surprise, Azusa says he knows that Tsubaki is working so hard lately to fill in the gaps he left at work. His manager already told him what happened, and he also knows that his remaining jobs will probably go to Tsubaki as well. However, Azusa then says that Tsubaki is thinking too much. A role will only be a role, and besides, Azusa thinks the anime role initially belongs to Tsubaki anyway.
Since Azusa needs some rest, Ema decides to get a vase for the bouquet in his room before going home. On her way back to his room, she hears his voice talking to someone else in the room. For a moment she panics thinking it might be an intruder, but soon she realizes that it’s the person Azusa has been waiting for. Tsubaki is standing near Azusa’s hospital bed, and even though Ema can’t see his face, she can hear that his voice is trembling. Before Tsubaki could say anything, Azusa hugs him and calls him “nii-san” — just like how it was on the night when he accepted the role. Tsubaki apologizes for not coming to visit earlier, and also for not listening to what Azusa tried to say.. but Azusa says he doesn’t mind. It was his fault too for not explaining the reason, and he understands that anyone would be angry to be disturbed in such a state. Tsubaki admits that he was a fool, and he promises to think carefully before he acts from now on. Tsubaki then asks Azusa to forgive him, and Azusa answers that there’s nothing to forgive since he’s not angry to begin with.
Outside of Azusa’s hospital room, Ema closes the door carefully so she won’t disturb them. She quietly apologizes to both Tsubaki and Azusa for causing such a conflict between them, and she feels really glad to see them together again.
Chapter 18-2: まぶたに熱を残した嵐は
[ The storm that leaves heat on eyelids ]
On the day of Hinode High School’s culture festival, Ema’s class is running a “Butler and Maid Cafe”. The one who suggested the idea was Ema’s best friend, Imai Mahoko — a huge fan of Fuuto’s who loves chasing idols. Mahoko wanted to open a butler cafe simply because there are a lot of good-looking guys in their class, but she decided to add maids in the last second since they don’t have enough helpers. The moment Ema enters the classroom, Mahoko thrusts a classic maid uniform into her hands and asks her to change.. and Ema accepts knowing she can’t go against Mahoko anyway. xD One of their classmates, Sasakura Kazuma, also asks if he can take a picture with Ema later, since he’s going to wear a butler uniform as well. When Mahoko says it’d be a nice picture for their flyers, Sasakura refuses saying the picture will be his memory.. and he won’t share it with anyone. (。・∀・。)
Soon Yusuke enters the classroom, and Mahoko rages at him for being so late. She says it’s hard to believe that Yusuke is Fuuto’s brother, and while Yusuke is clearly pissed, Sasakura tells him not to cross Mahoko for today — it’s useless LOL. Mahoko then pushes Yusuke into the changing booth, and after a while, he walks out wearing his butler uniform. The first thing he does is to ask for Ema’s opinion, and he blushes when she says he looks good. (❤ฺ￫艸￩) Ema changes into her maid uniform too after that, and Yusuke nearly gets a heart attack when she comes out of the booth. (。-∀-)ﾆﾋｯ♪ ..but he’s surprised when Sasakura reminds Ema to take a picture with him later. Poor guy, as if he doesn’t have enough rivals already. (´・ω・`)
After she’s done helping out in class, Ema goes to hand their cafe flyers by the school gate. She hears someone saying “I found a cute maid” before returning to her classroom, and she turns around to find Fuuto nearby — in a gorgeous vampire costume. It turns out the costume is for his photobook, since they want to take pictures with culture festival as the theme. They were initially planning to use a set, but since Hinode High School is having their culture festival today, they changed plans and use the school as the setting instead. Fuuto then asks Ema to visit his class’ haunted house, and when she tries to refuse, he sadly says he only wants to enjoy the culture festival with her. He doesn’t have a lot of free time as an idol, and they even ask him to work during the culture festival just so they can cut their budget. Feeling sorry for Fuuto, Ema eventually agrees to visit his class for a little while.
Upon reaching his class, Fuuto leads Ema to a different door saying she needs to pay if they go through the front entrance, so he’s taking her to enter from the back door instead. It’s really dark inside, and Fuuto quietly asks Ema not to call his name too loud or else the staff will come to disturb them. However, Fuuto suddenly locks the door and hugs Ema — covering her mouth with his hands before she could say anything. He reveals that his sad expression from earlier was just an act, and he tells her not be so trusting towards men. He also says it’s her fault for playing around with his brothers, and he asks how many of them will she charm until she gets satisfied. Fuuto then asks if Ema is just being indecisive, and he’s willing to help her decide by making her his. Unlike his brothers, Fuuto will never confess. If he likes anything, then he’ll just obtain it — he doesn’t need her permission. Fuuto then challenges Ema to run if she wants to, but his warm breath is absorbing all of her strength to resist.. until he says his brothers are so easy to be captivated by someone like her.
Ema regains her strength upon hearing those words, and she pushes Fuuto away with all her might. He’s really surprised by her resistance, but at the same time, he’s also impressed that she still has some strength left in her. Noticing that Ema doesn’t have any power to stand up anymore, Fuuto chuckles saying everything was also an act. It’s just an entertainment for him to enjoy the culture festival more, and he reveals that he didn’t lock the door either — he was only pretending to do so. Fuuto then says that Ema has become strong, but it only makes him even more excited to obtain her. He points out that she needs to get even stronger though, or else he will really make her his. (*ﾉ∀ﾉ)ｷｬｰ♡ Before leaving, Fuuto kisses Ema’s eyelids and asks her to remember those words.
Before #019 – Side Ukyou: 誰もが無罪ではなく
[ Nobody is innocent ]
Late at night, Ukyou takes a warm bath after cleaning up the 5th floor. He already noticed that most of his brothers are falling for Ema, and he needs to do something since the conflicts are stressing her out. The problem is, he doesn’t know what to do in this situation. It’s not like they can solve this issue by law, and Ukyou himself thinks dealing with women is a difficult thing to do. When he comes out of the bathroom, Ukyou finds a drunk Azusa in the living room. Azusa has been discharged from the hospital recently, and today the staff made a celebration for his recovery after work. Of course Ukyou is worried since Azusa has just recovered, but when he asks Azusa not to force himself, Azusa says he knows and calls him “mama” — much to his dismay. ﾌﾟｯ(※థэథ)∵.*.∵ Azusa also refuses to eat dinner, so Ukyou gives him a glass of water to clear his head with.
After drinking the water, Azusa suddenly mentions that “she” won another case recently. He saw the picture on the internet, along with the article about a certain beautiful young lawyer who keeps winning cases on the court — Amamiya Reiko. Ukyou calmly says the article is so foolish since it doesn’t say anything about the real her, and he asks if Azusa knows what’s necessary to keep consecutive victories. It’s simple — don’t accept cases that will make you lose. Reiko has the ability to tell which ones she would win and which ones are no good, and that’s why she keeps winning. Just before Ukyou goes to sleep, Azusa suddenly asks if he’s seeing Reiko in Ema because they look really similar. Azusa seems unsure even when Ukyou says he doesn’t, so Ukyou makes it very clear that he’s not comparing Ema to Reiko. They look similar, but their personalities are very different. They’re two different persons.
When Azusa asks how he feels about Ema, Ukyou returns the question by asking about what happened during their island trip. He’s glad that Tsubaki and Azusa’s relationship has returned to normal, but he noticed the strange tension between them. Ukyou then asks if both of them already resolved the issue, and Azusa laughs saying Ukyou is really sharp whenever he’s in “court mode”. Azusa doesn’t have any intentions to reveal what happened though, so he tells Ukyou that he’s using his right to remain silent.. and Ukyou says he understands. Azusa soon falls asleep on the sofa, and Ukyou gently removes his glasses — thinking that a time for them to make everything clear will surely come. Then he says goodnight to Azusa and leaves.
Chapter 19: 星とキスの降る夜に
[ On the night when the stars and the kiss fall ]
For their autumn family trip, Ema and her brothers go to visit Miwa’s villa in North Yatsugatake, Nagano. The ones who join the trip are Masaomi, Wataru, Ukyou, Hikaru, Subaru, Azusa and Natsume — using both Masaomi’s and Natsume’s cars. The latter has no ideas about where they are though, so Ukyou has to make sure he knows where they’re heading. xD They stop to get some rest along the way, and Azusa blushes when Ema smiles at him.. though he tries to cover it by saying the maples are beautiful. Hikaru teases Azusa by saying he’s really good at acting, but luckily Natsume calls Azusa before it turns into a fight. Since Azusa runs away, Hikaru then decides to tease Subaru instead. He calls Subaru to stand beside Ema so he can take a picture of them, and this causes an awkward atmosphere to flow between Subaru and Ema.. until Wataru suddenly tackles Subaru saying he won’t allow it. Wataru is clearly jealous and refuses to let go, so Ema eventually tells him that she actually wants to take a picture with everyone. Wataru instantly calms down upon hearing this, while Hikaru keeps observing with a smile on his face. Before taking a picture of everyone, Hikaru whispers to Ema that she did a great job in handling the situation.
Upon arriving in the villa, Subaru helps carrying Ema’s belongings inside. He asks if he can talk to her in private before they return to Tokyo, and when she asks what he wants to talk about, he only says he’ll tell her everything when she has time for him. That night, everyone has BBQ for dinner. Natsume finds it unusual for Tsubaki to be absent during a family trip, but according to Azusa, Tsubaki is currently busy with work. Azusa receives a call from Tsubaki after that, and noticing that Ema seems concerned, Natsume explains that Tsubaki is replacing Azusa as the main character of the anime. The production staff can’t afford to wait until Azusa returns to work, so they have to look for another seiyuu to fill in the gap. It’s the role Tsubaki has been dreaming to achieve, but Ema feels bad for Azusa since it took quite a lot of determination for him to accept that role. However, Natsume then asks Ema not to look so sad. It’s the first time he ever saw such a tension between Tsubaki and Azusa, but he believes both of them know about what’s important — they won’t lose their bond. As their brother, Natsume asks Ema to smile for them. Her smile always make them happy, and he admits that he always remembers her smile whenever he’s feeling tired. ♪ﾟ+.ｏ(*萌´д`从´д`萌*)ｏ.+ﾟ♪
After dinner, Ema stays in the terrace and thinks about Subaru’s confession along with all the things that happened after that. Soon Hikaru comes to tease her again, this time asking if she’s enjoying the pleasure of charming men. Ema angrily denies the accusation, but Hikaru remains calm and tells her that a “new stage” of the game is about to begin. Instead of explaining what that means, Hikaru asks Ema to make dinner for him.. and she agrees on the condition that he explains the meaning after eating dinner. Hikaru accepts the deal, so after eating the leftovers from today’s BBQ, he shows Ema a scoreboard of “Brothers Conflict” — the latest version of November 2011. The scoreboard is divided into 13 rows and 3 columns, which he explains as “entry number”, “group” and “dividend”. Hikaru doesn’t explain what “dividend” means, but it’s basically what each brother has to pay in order to be with Ema. In other words, the one with the lowest “dividend” is the closest person to her.
Hikaru also says these numbers are pretty much meaningless since they fluctuate everyday, and since Ema doesn’t understand what it means, he gives a hint for her to figure out — why didn’t Kaname join them in this trip? Ema answers it’s because he wants to help Yusuke with his studies, but Hikaru then says that Kaname is really kind.. that’s why sometimes he lies for love. (´；ω；`) After Hikaru leaves, Ema starts thinking about why Kaname would lie to her, and it doesn’t take long until she reaches the answer. Tsubaki, Rui and Fuuto are busy with work, and since Yusuke is busy studying in his room.. that only leaves Iori. Kaname must be staying in Tokyo because he wants to talk to Iori.
The next morning, Ema finds Ukyou — with his hair down — in the kitchen. She wants to help him preparing breakfast as usual, but he tells her to get some rest instead. Ema spent all night thinking about what Hikaru said to her, and Ukyou notices that she didn’t get enough sleep last night. He asks if she has any worries, but since she can’t answer his question, he decides to tell her a bit about his past. Back when he just became a lawyer, Ukyou erased his sleep time a lot in order to prepare for his trials, and that only led him to unsatisfactory results. Eventually he realized that in order to stay in the best condition, one needs to get enough rest and take a good care of their health. Ukyou says he’ll listen to Ema’s worries if she wants to, but for now he wants her to get some rest first. This makes Ema realize that she’s not alone, and she also realizes that she needs to listen to what her brothers have to say if she wants to give them a proper answer. Following Ukyou’s advice, Ema drinks the hot milk he made for her and returns to her room after saying goodnight to him.
That evening, Ema takes a walk around the villa after her nap. Her foot slips on a rock on the way back to the villa, but fortunately Subaru comes to catch her before she falls into the river. Ema knows she probably won’t have another chance to talk to Subaru, so she asks him about what he wants to talk about. At first Subaru is reluctant, but then he asks if Ema knows about Japan’s pro basketball league. It turns out Subaru got scouted, and he can become a pro if he accepts the offer. Ema is happy to hear the news, but Subaru only remains silent for a while.. and then he asks her to forgive him. The one who wants to recruit him is the Kyushu team, so he will have to move away if he takes the offer. It’s too far away, and he wants her to forget his confession — he can’t ask her to come and stay by his side. However, Subaru feels even more confused when his eyes meet Ema’s. Despite what he just said, he loves her too much to let go.. and now he doesn’t know what to do.
Ema actually feels happy to receive Subaru’s feelings, so she finally asks him to give her more time. She can’t answer his feelings yet, but she can say one thing for certain — she doesn’t want him to give up on basketball. Distance won’t be able to separate them if they love each other, but the offer to join the Kyushu team will fly away if he refuses.. so she wants him to grasp that chance and become a pro basketball player. After a short silence, Subaru smiles and thanks Ema for the answer. He didn’t expect her to think about his future that much, and he feels really happy with her concern. Subaru then promises to become a first-class player, and he asks Ema to let him know when she finds the answer. Until then, he will be waiting for her while continuing his basketball career. (人´∀`)☆゜’・:*
Late at night, Ema finds Azusa in the living room — talking to Tsubaki on the phone. He drops the call and apologizes for being so noisy at night, but she’s more worried of interrupting their discussion instead. Azusa explains that they were only discussing about the script, and since Ema doesn’t seem surprised, he asks if she already knew about the role. Ema honestly admits that she already heard about that from Natsume, though she immediately regrets revealing the truth because Azusa seems irritated. Azusa then takes Ema for a walk under the starry sky, where he explains that Tsubaki is working really hard on the role. Aside from giving it his all, Tsubaki is also maintaining the nuance Azusa created before he got hospitalized. Of course Tsubaki can adjust his acting to match Azusa’s, but what he’s doing right now is way beyond that level — he takes over the role and revives the feeling Azusa gave. Azusa then says that it’s the real Tsubaki. Despite his usual demeanor, Tsubaki is a really straight and simple person who takes his job seriously. After seeing Tsubaki’s passion, Azusa realizes that he needs to become Tsubaki’s rival — both in work and in winning Ema’s heart — because Tsubaki’s wish is for Azusa to face him with all he’s got.. and even though Azusa admits that he’ll never win against Tsubaki’s passion, he doesn’t want to lose either. Or rather, he can’t afford to lose.
Just then Ema suddenly sneezes, Azusa hugs her and asks if she’s cold. Once again, Azusa says that he won’t lose.. and then he kisses Ema’s forehead as the proof of his determination — whispering that he loves her. The kiss reminds Ema of the night when Tsubaki first kissed her, and she realizes that Tsubaki and Azusa really do share the same soul.
After #019 – Side Hikaru: やがて手折るための花を今は愛でて
[ Admiring the flower that will be plucked soon ]
Back in the villa, Wataru comes to see Hikaru and takes a peek at his laptop screen. There he finds Brother Conflict’s scoreboard, though he obviously doesn’t know what it means. Since normal explanation probably won’t work on Wataru, Hikaru then retells the situation by using different words. He explains that there are 13 princes who are fighting over a princess, and he asks Wataru to predict which one of the princes will win her heart. Wataru quickly points to prince no. 13 because he has a huge score on the last column, which he thinks is a column for “attack power” LOL. However, Wataru then says he feels sorry for the princes. They’re brothers, and yet they have to fight against each other. Upon hearing this, Hikaru asks what would Wataru do if he’s one of those princes. Will he give up on the princess for the sake of having peace with his brothers? Surprisingly, Wataru says he won’t give up — because love is earnest and irreplaceable. Hikaru then praises Wataru for giving a great answer, and when Wataru says he’s happy because Hikaru always says “mean things”, Hikaru pinches his lips as the punishment. ﾌﾟｯ(※థэథ)∵.*.∵ Since Wataru is 100% ready to fight for Ema, Hikaru updates his “dividend” to 180. Wataru protests thinking prince no. 13 has grown weaker, but Hikaru simply says it’s actually the opposite. Before leaving, Hikaru asks Wataru to deliver a message for Ema: “the odds are under revision.”
Before #020 – Side Iori: 冬花へ
[ For Fuyuka ]
On Christmas Eve, Iori is thinking about his relationship with Fuyuka and Ema. He believes that Ema and him are in love with each other, so he needs to answer her feelings. Looking back at his past, Iori truly loved Fuyuka and gave his everything for her. After she died, he wanted to commit suicide and follow her to the other world. When a certain someone gave him the cross saying it’s Fuyuka’s memento, Iori was really happy and tries to strangle himself with the long chain.. but that someone keeps “disturbing” their reunion. Iori has been living life in misery ever since, until fate finally brought him to Ema — whom he believes to be his destined one. At first Iori didn’t have any particular opinion about Ema, but everything changed when she promised to stay by his side forever. Despite what she said during the summer festival, Iori still believes that Ema is deeply hurt after discovering her real identity. He also thinks that he’s the only one who can save her because she loves him, but before he can answer her feelings, the two of them needs to talk to Fuyuka first. Fuyuka has taught him love, and now it’s his turn to do the same to Ema.
On the way home, Iori finds Ema walking through the street. He happily thinks about how fate has lead him to find her again on this fateful night, and Ema has nothing to worry about since he’s standing right here for her. Tonight Iori will declare his love for Ema in front of Fuyuka, so he needs to stop Ema and inform her about this.
Chapter 20: 嘘ばかりの愛でも
[ Even the love that’s full of lies ]
In the evening of December 17, Ema is studying in her room when Masaomi invites her to have some tea. It’s only a month away from the center exam, and he wonders if she has any other options beside Meiji University. When Ema mentions several girls university as her secondary options, Masaomi carefully asks if she has any intentions to take the entrance exam to Jouchi University.. but Ema clearly says no, knowing it would be too difficult for her anyway. Before Ema returns to her room, Masaomi suddenly asks if she has any plans for the 24th. Ema says she will be studying at home, but soon she realizes that Masaomi might be checking her plans because he wants to ask her out. (๑´ლ`๑)♡ Masaomi realizes this too, and he blushes saying he only wants to make a Christmas party with everyone. When Ema says she’ll join the party, Masaomi happily thanks her with a smile so wide it makes her blush.. and then he runs away upon realizing what he just did. xD
The next day, Ema takes a pre-test for the center exam in Meiji University. On her way home, she spots Kaname near the intersection of the Ochanomizu Station. Kaname is wearing a suit today, and he’s looking at the river with a serious expression. He’s really surprised when Ema goes over to call him, and even though he tries to conceal his reason for being here, he can’t escape from her. Ema directly asks why he didn’t join their trip to Nagano, and when Kaname says it’s because he wants to help Yusuke with his studies, she says he’s lying — he stayed in Tokyo to talk to Iori and she knows it. Knowing he can’t lie to her anymore, Kaname gives up and admits that she’s right. He tried talking to Iori when they were away, but sadly his attempt failed since Iori wouldn’t listen to him at all. One of his workmates in the temple introduced him to a to a psychologist, and he went to have a consultation about Iori’s case today. That’s why he’s here near the station. Kaname then gives Ema a new contact address and he tells her to save it under another name, asking her to contact him in this address if anything happens. He says this is all he can do for now, but he promises to protect her with all his life.
On December 24, Rui asks Ema to come to his salon. He can’t attend their Christmas party, but he wants to arrange her hair and clothes for the event.. and for some reason, Masaomi also urges Ema to accept the invitation. Since they’re ordering food and cake for the party, Yusuke offers to help taking care of the food delivery when Ema is away. After she’s done explaining about what to do, he informs her that he’s going to Meiji University as well. It might be difficult for him to get accepted, but he’s going to give it his all. Yusuke then asks if Ema can help him with the parts he didn’t understand, and she agrees since she still has some time before her appointment with Rui. Right after Yusuke leaves to get his textbook, Tsubaki enters the living room. He still has some work to do and only returns home to get a shower, but his tension is really low today. Instead of clinging to Ema like he usually would, Tsubaki only asks her to take a picture for him after Rui is done giving her a makeover. When Yusuke returns, Tsubaki sighs saying he really envies Yusuke.. because even if he got trampled and sidelined, Yusuke can always talk to Ema with the same feeling all the time. Then he lets out another sigh and leaves without explaining anything.
In Rui’s salon, Ema learns that her outfit for the party is a present from Masaomi — that’s why he asked her to accept Rui’s offer. After he’s done arranging her hair, Rui puts a cute ribbon hairband on Ema’s hair and says it’s a Christmas present from him. (人´∀`)☆゜’・:* It’s already past 7 PM when Ema leaves Rui’s salon, but she decides to walk slowly since her hair will be ruined if she runs back to the mansion. Unfortunately, Ema never made it back to the mansion.. because Iori catches her along the way. Even though she dressed up for the Christmas party, Iori thanks her thinking she’s dressing up for him. This year Christmas Eve falls on the night of a new moon, and Ema can’t see Iori’s expression since it’s really dark.. but even though Iori’s voice is really gentle, somehow Ema feels really scared of him. Iori then says he already got a car waiting for them, and this reminds Ema about Kaname’s hidden contact address. She asks Iori to let her inform Ukyou first so their brothers won’t disturb them later, and Iori watches her as she types a mail to “Ukyou” — informing him that she’s going out with Iori. The mail address under the name “Ukyou” is, of course, Kaname’s new address.. and as Iori guides her into the car, Ema can only hope that Kaname notices her mail.
After a while, Iori and Ema reaches a Christian graveyard. Iori asks Ema to wait as he takes a bouquet of white lilies from the back seat, and she uses this chance to check her phone. She finds a mail for “Ukyou” which says he doesn’t know the location of the main dish — referring to her location at the moment — and she quickly replies that they’re in a graveyard. Iori almost caught her and asks if she called someone, but she makes up an excuse by saying she only wants some light because it’s really dark.. which successfully erases his suspicion. Iori then takes Ema to the deepest part of the graveyard, where he puts the bouquet in front of a grave and whispers “Merry Christmas, Fuyuka. You’re beautiful.” (´・ω・`) After a LONG silence, Iori eventually thanks Fuyuka and stands up — telling Ema that Fuyuka has given her permission. Iori then hugs Ema saying they can finally become one, and he whispers “I love you” into her ears. However, Ema notices that Iori doesn’t look happy at all. In fact, he look so sad it pains her to reject him.. but she knows she needs to stop this misunderstanding. Ema stops Iori just before he kisses her, but before she could explain anything, Kaname suddenly appears and separates them — shielding Ema from Iori.
The moment Ema sees the change in Iori’s expression, she immediately regrets calling Kaname here. When Iori says he’s not seeking for salvation, Kaname tells him that he’s still living in the past. Despite his denial, Iori is still chasing after Fuyuka’s shadow. Kaname asks Iori to admit it already, but after yet another long silence.. Iori suddenly punches Kaname in the gut and asks him to admit his lies too. Σ(Д｀|||ノ)ノ Iori then takes out his silver cross and asks if Kaname still remembers what he said back then. Kaname said it’s a memento from Fuyuka. Iori was happy thinking he can be reunited with Fuyuka by using the cross, but Kaname always came to stop him whenever he tried to commit suicide. After a while, Iori realized that the chain of the cross is too long for Fuyuka.. which means that Kaname lied to him. Iori then says that Kaname’s lies only brought more pain for him, and he puts the chain of the cross around Kaname’s neck — strangling him saying he won’t lose to all those lies. Iori asks Kaname to bless his relationship with Ema as a clergy, but Kaname gathers his breath and refuses — saying he can’t hand his sister to Iori. Iori calmly says he understands, and he pulls the chain to strangle Kaname even more. When Iori thanks Kaname for all the lies he’s given, Ema notices that Kaname suddenly stops resisting. Kaname then looks her way and gives her a faint smile, and that’s when Ema realizes that Kaname is planning to die here in Iori’s hands. Knowing that she can’t let Kaname die, Ema screams at Iori to stop.
Since Iori refuses to understand Kaname’s actions, Ema tells him that Kaname lies in order to protect the people he loves. Iori doesn’t believe that a lie can protect anyone, so Ema reveals that she’s been lying to him as well. She didn’t lie through words like Kaname did, but she lied to him through her actions. Ema then says she should have rejected Iori’s kiss back then, and that she’s been lying to him through that kiss. Iori is taken aback upon hearing everything, and he asks if that means Ema actually doesn’t love him. His sad expression really hurts her heart, but she knows she needs to make it clear.. so she clearly answers that she doesn’t love him and can’t go out with him. Since Iori still finds it hard to believe, Ema also explains that he took her words the wrong way back when he was hospitalized. It was her fault for not making it clear to him, and she admits that she’s been lying to him ever since. Ema then apologizes for lying to him all this time, but Iori quietly says he understands. Everyone has been lying to him, so he’s going to get over his past alone — without anyone’s help. Iori then takes his cross and walks away, disappearing through the gate as the morning sun appears in the eastern sky.
After Iori is gone, Ema rushes over to Kaname and asks if he’s alright. She tries to comfort him by saying Iori will be alright, but he doesn’t seem to share her confidence regarding that issue. While it’s true that Iori won’t misunderstand Ema’s actions anymore, Kaname sadly apologizes saying he couldn’t do anything after all. He couldn’t protect Iori, failed to save him, and coudln’t do anything to protect Ema. In the end, the one who kept Ema unharmed was none other than herself. On top of failing to protect them, Kaname was about to throw his own life for Iori too.. which would only drag Iori deeper into the darkness. When Kaname says he can’t do anything despite his promise to save Iori, Ema tells him that it’s not true. The one who understands Iori the most is Kaname, and he’s the only one who can take Iori out of his misery. Kaname smiles upon hearing this, and he thanks Ema saying her words make him feel that he can really do it. However, Ema realizes something here.
Kaname’s gentle smile.
It’s the expression he makes when he’s lying to protect someone.
After #020 – Side Iori: 愛は続いてゆく
[ Love will always last ]
After leaving Ema and Kaname, Iori walks to a cliff near the graveyard. He has lost his reason to keep on living, so he’s ready to throw his life away.. but then he notices the cross sparkling on his chest. When he realized it, his feet has stopped moving towards the cliff.
OMG KANAMEEEE C= C= C= C= C= C= 。・゜゜ヽ| ；∀；|ノウワァァァァァァンッ!
This volume gives me so much emotion. I’m impressed at Ema’s determination to give everyone a proper answer, and I love how she answers Subaru’s confession. I also love how Tsubaki and Azusa make up in the hospital, but seriously.. chapter 20 makes me explode with so many emotions I couldn’t write properly. ｡：ﾟ(｡ﾉω＼｡)ﾟ･｡ Iori’s yandere meter completely went out of control, and sadly I can understand how he feels. On the other hand, Kaname’s determination to save Iori is so strong and sincere. I never thought he’s willing to go that far for Iori, but even after everything’s over, he’s still thinking about Iori instead of his own safety. I can’t NOT love this man. (ノД`)・゜・。 Now excuse me while I wipe the tears I shed for Kaname. (´；ω；`)